Local News

Search Continues for Suspected Shoplifter, Carjacker

Posted November 20, 1999

— Police are investigating a wild crime spree across the Triangle Sunday afternoon. They are searching for the man suspected of carjacking, several accidents and shoplifting.

Officers say it all began around 1:30 p.m. Sunday when the suspect stole 11 coats from the Belks department store at University Mall in Chapel Hill.

The suspect allegedly ran from the store, put the coats in his Jeep and took off.

"This is someone who has gone to great lengths to elude officers. He is very dangerous to society, and he's threatening drivers along the road with a vehicle that was operating out of control," says Maj. Dwight Pettiford of the Durham Police Department.

On Highway 751, the suspected shoplifter slammed into a AAA roadside assistance truck, injuring the driver. The suspect kept going until hitting a parked car.

On foot, the suspect made a run for a nearby Burger King, where he jumped into a Mitsubishi Montero with the daughter of Durham City Councilwoman Pam Blyth inside.

"He forces the two females out of the car, takes their vehicle, [and] he attempts to run down a Chapel Hill police officer," says Pettiford.

Neither woman was injured.

Police recovered the SUV in Durham; the suspect is still on the run. However, the suspect was caught on survellance tape inside the mall.

In all, four cars were damaged. Reporter: Todd HauerandMichelle Singer


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